How "freshly ground" should black pepper be? Does it make that much difference if it is ground a few days in advance?
I was thinking about this yesterday, while grating a nutmeg. I always grate 3-4 times what I need, and put the rest in a tiny glass jar, to have some for the next time. (I do a lot of baking, so I go through it quickly.) With the holidays coming up, I was wondering if I can grind up a few tablespoons at a time, which I know will be used within a week or so. I realize that it's not that hard to grind pepper, but I'm constantly on the lookout for whatever shortcuts I can find, especially at this time of year. ;o) Thank you, everyone.
P.S. Did you know that if you put a few allspice peppers in your grinder, it produces a lovely, fragrant, more interesting ground pepper? You should lightly crush them first, as most grinders can't handle their size and texture otherwise. I read this tip in one of Edward Behr's books, about 20 years ago. His ratio is 8 pepper to 1 allspice. I go closer to 5:1.